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Ustad Amanat Ali Khan: <i>Ae Watan, Piyare Watan</i>

Posted on August 12, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People
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Adil Najam

""Following its spectacular success with the Independence Day tribute to Mehdi Hassan and his iconic song Yeh watan tumhara hai’ (2006) and to Farida Khanum with the new song ‘Hum bolain mohabat ki zabaan‘ (2007), the telecom company Mobilink and filmstar Shaan (of Khuda Key Liye fame), who is the moving force and director behind this wonderful series of tributes, have now released a third musical tribute to mark this year’s Independence Day celebrations. This year, the musical maestro being celebrated is Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and the song is his heart-moving rendition of Ai watan, piyare watan.’

It is yet another iconic song. Yet another moving tribute. Yet another inspirational production that gives one goosebumps, makes ones heart beat faster, and transports you to that moment where the pettiness of the politics of the moment fades in the potential of that which could have been. In that magical moment, no matter what your political persuation might be, no matter how good or bad a singer you might be, you too want to sing out loud and join in: "Aye watan, piyare watan… aye mairey piyare watan!"

Long-time readers know how fond I am of this series of songs produced by Mobilink and Shaan (here and here). It is so, not only for the songs themselves but the new meaning infused into them in the video and the imagery. I still believe that the first song (Mehdi Hassan singing ‘Yeh watan tumhara hai) has been the most outstanding in a series where each song is outstanding. Indeed, I wrote three different posts on that song and its video (here, here and here).

""The difference this time is that the singer being honored, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, is no more with us. The video artfully mixes his old videos with new clips and an occasional cameo by a look-alike to give the compelling impression that he is still with us, singing for us. The linking motif this time is Ustad Amanat Ali Khan’s son, and singing sensation, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan (his elder brother, Asad Amanat Ali, died recently) and I suspect that the little child with his is also from the same clan. Artist Saeed Akhter is also featured prominently in the video. Readers would recall that the Mehdi Hassan video had appearances from many other luminaries, including poet Munir Niazi, who died soon afterwards (on Munir Niazi here, here and here).

As I listen to the song, another long-time favorite of mine (my colleague Owais Mughal had listed the song last year as one of his favorite expressions of Pakistaniat), I listen to it with a new sensibility. A sensibility that derives from all the heartache of the times we live in, but also from imagery of this new video; imagery that is meant to and does give the song new meaning. I am struck how music can be timeless; but also by the sophistication of the poetry that used to go into even popular music.

""As I listen to it today it becomes as much an expression of dedication as a prayer. The statement of an idea, the pursuit of an ideal, the articulation of hopes. It has none of the arrogance of anthems, and all of the tenderness of a love sonnet. This verse is particularly featured in the video and speaks particularly to this point:

Mairi hasti meiN aana hai, mairi masti mein shaoor
Jaan-fizaa maira takhaiul hai, tou shireen hai sukhn

Big 3 console makers offer slew of extras for broadband users

The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) January 1, 2009 | Hiawatha Bray Tech Lab It’s one week later, and by now the initial buzz of your Christmas gifts has begun to fade. Even the thrill of that new video game console has lost its edge. this web site best web browser

Perhaps you should spend less time blasting bad guys and more time hanging out online. The three top video game consoles – Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360, Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Co.’s Wii – each offer a variety of extras for users who plug them into a broadband Internet connection.

The Nintendo Wii doesn’t even need plugging in. Unlike the PS 3 and Xbox 360, the Wii includes built-in Wi-Fi networking, compatible with standard wireless Internet routers. You can play games against online rivals free of charge. But while more than 100 PS 3 games offer online play, as do more than 350 Xbox games, only about three dozen Wii games allow for Internet competition.

Still, you’ll also get built-in news and weather channels, so you can get caught up on current events in just a few minutes. Old- school Nintendo buffs can visit the Wii Shop Channel and purchase classic games from the past, like Donkey Kong or Mario Bros. You pay with a “points” system. Using a credit card, you buy a bundle of points, priced at $10 per 1,000 points. Games are generally priced at 500 to 1,500 points.

The Wii features by far the best Web browser yet developed for use with a living room TV. Nintendo hooked up with the Norwegian firm Opera Software ASA to build the browser, but saddled it with a confusing name: the Internet Channel. Besides, at a time when Web browsers are usually free, Nintendo charges 500 points, or $5, for this one.

Spend the money. You’ll get a Web browser that’s easily managed through the Wii’s elegant wireless game controller. And unlike earlier living room browsers – do you remember Microsoft’s ill- fated WebTV service? – you can read Web pages fairly well, even when seated on a sofa 15 feet away.

By contrast, Microsoft hasn’t bothered with a browser for its Xbox 360 console, and you’ll find no news or weather feeds, either. Still, Microsoft’s Xbox Live is rightly considered the classiest online gaming service of them all. It had better be – Microsoft charges $50 a year for full access; with Nintendo and Sony, hooking up is free.

So what are Xbox Live subscribers getting for their money? A whole lot of movies, for one thing. Until recently, members had to pay $4 to download and watch a movie, but Microsoft’s recent upgrade of Xbox Live includes a partnership with the movies-by-mail rental company Netflix.

Last year, Netflix began selling a little black box that let subscribers stream movies directly over the Internet. Now the same capability has been added to the Xbox 360. Xbox Live subscribers who also subscribe to Netflix can fire up the game console and start watching full-length movies on demand – as many as they want, whenever they want. Only about 12,000 movies are presently available, many of them ancient or awful, and only about 300 are in high definition, but Netflix vows to expand its library in the months ahead. If that happens, it’ll be one of the best bargains in home entertainment and a major reason to buy an Xbox 360.

Another recent upgrade to Xbox Live is also a work in progress. Members can now create their own avatars – animated online characters that can be given customized faces, physiques, and costumes. Your new avatar becomes your digital representative in the online world. It’s a cute idea, but not particularly useful; at least, not yet. Marc Whitten, general manager of Xbox Live, told me that upcoming games will let players insert their personal avatars into the action. Imagine playing an online sports game in which your own avatar dunks the basketball or gets sacked for a 10-yard loss.

Sony’s PlayStation Network is taking the concept even further. Owners of a PS 3 console can log on to PlayStation Home, a small but growing virtual world inhabited by the avatars of PS 3 gamers. Every Home member gets a beautiful, but rather underfurnished, waterfront apartment. From there they can travel to a virtual city featuring a movie theater, bowling alley, and shopping mall. The theater features videos about current and upcoming PS 3 games, while the bowling alley includes a variety of simple arcade-type games. At the mall, you can use real money to buy clothes for your avatar and furniture for your apartment. website best web browser

It’s all very Second Life-like, to those familiar with that well- known virtual world. Indeed, Sony began working on Home in 2005, when Second Life was being touted as the next big thing. But since then, the popularity of Second Life and other virtual hangouts has faded considerably. PlayStation Home reminds you of the reason why. After the initial wow wears off, there’s not much reason to hang out there.

Sony officials concede the point, but note Home’s only been up and running a few weeks. They say game developers are working on ways to integrate it into their upcoming software. Already, Home features gathering places for two popular PS 3 games: Uncharted and Far Cry 2. Gamers will visit these areas to chat, pick up game tips and cheat codes, and set up multiplayer online matches.

It’s too early to tell whether these virtual game rooms will catch on. But Sony has sold about 17 million PS 3s so far. That’s enough to support a very lively online community, if PlayStation gamers cut back on annihilating aliens and spend more time at Home.

Hiawatha Bray can be reached at

Hiawatha Bray

24 comments posted

Comment Pages: [3] 2 1 » Show All

  1. Abdul Hafeez says:
    December 18th, 2011 1:50 am

    Allah Ustad amanat ali Khan ko Jannat naseeb Farmaay,

  2. sajid0 says:
    May 29th, 2010 10:00 am

    i love my pakistan and it’s people plz mere mail pe ae watan pak watan by ustad amant ali khan ka song send kar de plz

  3. WAqar Hussain NAich says:
    May 8th, 2010 7:19 am

    Asslam Alaikum :
    My Name is Waqar Hussain Naich From Disst: Naushahro feroze , I Like Veery Much Ustad Amanat Ali ,
    After LIstening his songs My Heart Is Saying One voice That Pakistan Zindabad……………..

  4. Javed Anwar says:
    August 13th, 2009 2:09 pm

    Hi PAKISTAN ,,, You are the Best of the Bestsssss …. I love so much and Inshallah I will spare that very eye which will look to you with bad sight …………..

  5. SALEEM says:
    August 14th, 2008 3:22 pm

    Amanat Ali Khan was a great singer and this is a fitting tribute to him. The visuals were beautiful in this and they were really able to create the sense that Ustad Amanat Ali Khan was himself singing here. This is a beautiful song and a beautiful video.

  6. Shaista says:
    August 14th, 2008 1:47 pm

    This is a moving song. Thank you to Mobilink and Shaan for making this series.

    I agree that the one on Mehdi Hassan Sahib is the most moving one but all of them are great in their own right.

    Indeed these do make you think about Pakistan with love and tenderness.

  7. Owais Mughal says:
    August 13th, 2008 9:09 am

    Who is the poet of this song?

  8. shahran says:
    August 13th, 2008 7:21 am

    Good post.

    The only thing left here was the inclusion of the poet who actually wrote these verses.

    I think in these days where there is a video and there are many more people in the video who has nothing to do with the song although they perform acting, the significance of the poet who wrote these lines goes into the background.

    I like Shaan and mobilink did this but it would have been nice that they should have recognized the contribution of the poet in here.

    I guess the poet does not have a “brand value” which would benefit mobilink.An unfortunate thing of the corporate culture.

Comment Pages: [3] 2 1 » Show All

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